As we make the transition out of the ‘start-up phase’ – which was marked by a focus on establishing the programme and making our work known to partners and stakeholders— the organisation has added a new team charged with ensuring the programme remains meaningful, effective and robust.
Programme Assurance was created to provide stakeholders confidence that the ASC Standards are effectively implemented and audited. Members of the team are based in and near key areas including the Netherlands, the United States of America and Vietnam to cover the global scope of the programme as they perform their core duties, which include:
- Continuously improving ASC Certification and Accreditation methodologies to add more value to stakeholders
- Training auditors to deliver audits that meet ASC intent and the market demand
- Closely collaborating with ASI to effectively and efficiently oversee performance of accredited certification bodies and their auditors
- Closely collaborating with the MSC – who runs the ASC Chain of Custody certification programme – to ensure product integrity
- Constantly developing, implementing and improving tools and methodologies to deliver the above services.
New Variance Request processes
29 October 2020: ASC has published two new processes for Variance Requests (VRs) to the ASC standards and VRs to the Certification and Accreditation Requirements (CAR). Auditors will have six weeks to familiarise themselves with the new processes before they go live on December 15, 2020.
12 April 2021: ASC has published a new version of the ASC Policy for Audits During Covid-19 published originally on 22 September 2020 (see below). This new policy is applicable starting from 12 April 2021 and it is valid until further notice:
- ASC Policy for Audits during Covid-19 Outbreak (April 2021)
- ASC Policy for Audits during Covid-19 Outbreak (September 2020)
20 July 2020: ASC has later published the following exit policy, normative for all ASC audits that according to the certificate cycle will be conducted immediately after an audit that used one of the exceptions offered by the ASC COVID 19 Policy:
- ASC Exit Policy for Audits Conducted Under the ASC Covid-19 Policy (version 03 08 2020)
- Annex 2 ASC COVID Exit Policy
Suspended certificates and logo licensees
Assurance and Chain of Custody programme items
Quality check of ASC audit reports
The Quality Assurance (QA) process ensures that all audit reports (i.e. certification, recertification and surveillance) meet the stated requirements in the ASC Certification and Accreditation Requirements (CAR) and are understandable to stakeholders. This review is currently being done for both the completeness (Level 1 check – L1) and the content related issues (Level 2 check – L2). Read more
Key Data Element (KDE) project
In line with the ASC’s continuous improvement commitment, the Programme Assurance team has embarked upon a project aimed at introducing the use of technology to improve the digital traceability of ASC certified products. The project involves using and/or developing software to capture and convey key data elements (KDEs) from certified farm origin throughout the supply chain to end consumers. More details about:
- KDE project (April 2019 update).
- Data collection re. KDE project (April 2019 update to IT companies)
ASC shrimp product monitoring in Vietnam
In response to concerns on antibiotic contamination, the MSC on behalf of ASC will roll out a 12 month antibiotics sampling program on Vietnamese ASC shrimp at the first point of Chain of Custody (CoC). Read more
Supplier monitoring tool
We are using a new web-based tool to collect certified product antibiotic test result data from a range of sources, including certificate holders, government databases and our own sampling. Submissions are made confidentially into the online reporting tool by responding to several simple questions about the product tested and any antibiotic residue detected. Read more
If you would like to provide input on auditors’ performance or contact our programme assurance team, please complete the form below and we will get in touch.